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Ulcerative Colitis Health Center

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Symptoms

The symptoms of ulcerative colitis may include:

  • Diarrhea or rectal urgency. Some people may have diarrhea 10 to 20 times a day. The urge to go to the bathroom may wake you up at night.
  • Rectal bleeding. The disease usually causes bloody diarrhea and mucus. You also may have rectal pain and an urgent need to empty your bowels.
  • Belly pain, often described as cramping. Your belly may be sore when touched.
  • Constipation. This symptom may develop depending on what part of the colon is affected. Constipation is much less common than diarrhea.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Fever. In severe cases, fever or other symptoms that affect the entire body may develop.
  • Weight loss. Ongoing symptoms, such as diarrhea, can lead to weight loss.
  • Too few red blood cells (anemia). Some people get anemia because of low iron levels caused by bloody stools or intestinal inflammation.

Other conditions with symptoms similar to ulcerative colitis include Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and colon cancer.

Recommended Related to Ulcerative Colitis

The Link Between Stress and Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis can begin very early. At the age of 12, for instance, Amanda Sina Griffith found herself the object of a custody battle -- and was besieged by painful stomach cramps and bloody diarrhea. “I’d had very mild stomach symptoms before; my doctor thought it was a bacterial infection. But now, it was worse,” she recalls. The diagnosis was ulcerative colitis. Now 31, the Norton, Mass., public relations consultant and mother of a 7-month-old still finds that when she’s under stress her...

Read the The Link Between Stress and Ulcerative Colitis article > >

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 08, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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